Ace giving R400 to woman voter was only ubuntu - ANC

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

The ANC is not aware of any investigation into the actions of its secretary-general Ace Magashule.

Magashule is being investigated by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) following a complaint by the DA after he was seen opening a potential voter’s fridge and handing two R200 notes to a woman during a campaign trail.

The DA said it viewed this as vote buying which is against the rules of the IEC.

Although the IEC confirmed the investigation on Wednesday and said it would “deal with this matter expeditiously” – an indication that it would be before the May 8 general elections - ANC spokesperson Dakote Legoete said they not aware of this.

“We are not aware of the investigation, the SG [Magashule] and myself are on the ground doing campaign work,” said Legoete.

He said the party did not view Magashule’s actions as a “big thing” and that as far as the ANC is concerned, there was nothing sinister as he was simply being kind.

“From our side we view it as part of helping our people, as part of ubuntu. It is the African way of life when you see someone struggling you intervene to help and the fact that he did this in public shows it was not malicious,” Legoete said.

“That old lady’s fridge only had water and he was just being kind.”

However, the IEC’s Electoral Code of Conduct - which all 48 parties contesting the elections have signed – is against this kind of “financial incentive” and if found guilty by the Electoral Court, Magashule could either get off with a formal warning, a fine of not more than R200,000 or forfeit the party’s deposit.

Even though it is aware of this, the ANC said it believed the money would not coerce the woman into voting for the ANC.

“She has a right to vote for any of the other opposition parties. She still has to decide as a consenting adult,” said Legoete.

Asked about the timing of Magashule’s “ubuntu” right on the eve of elections, Legoete said: “Ubuntu does not stop. It does not have a start, it does not have an end."